Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Floods - Flash Update No. 2, As of 25 May 2020

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HIGHLIGHTS

• In May, excessive rainfall led to flooding, causing displacement and loss of lives and livelihoods in different parts of the country.

• Government, humanitarian agencies, and communities are responding to the needs of flood-affected and displaced people.

• US$ 25.6M is urgently required to address unmet food and non-food needs, including emergency shelter and non-food items (ES/NFI), health and WaSH services as well as early recovery support.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Ethiopia is experiencing extreme weather variability with some areas experiencing drought, while others are impacted by flooding. On 21 May, the Government-led Flood Task Force released the National Flood Response Plan to guide flood preparedness and response for the remainder of the 2020 belg/gu (spring) rainy season. The three-months plan (April-June) is based on the National Meteorological Agency weather forecast indicating that the belg/gu rain will expand its temporal and spatial coverage, even beyond the usual belg/gu-dependent areas. Rainfall intensity is expected to peak in May in most belg/gu-dependent areas of the country. Heavy rainfall is likely to occur in parts of eastern, southern, southeastern, and southwestern Ethiopia. WFP Early Warning Unit also reported that heavy rainfall in the next few days will likely to cause moderate flooding in northern Gambella, East Wellega, Horo Guduru, South Shewa and neighboring areas. The Flood Task Force had released a Flood Alert earlier in the season listing the areas at risk of flooding to inform mitigation and preparedness measures.

According to National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), seasonal flooding has so far affected 470,163 people, of whom some 301,284 people are displaced in Somali, Oromia, Afar, SNNP, Dire Dawa and Harari. The situation is particularly severe in Somali region where more than 79 per cent of the flood-affected and displaced people are located. Floods fully damaged the main bridges between Hudet and Negelle and between Mubarak and Filtu, Somali region. The floods also inundated planted crops and vegetables in Hudet and Mubarak woredas, Dawa zone. Similarly, 2,118 livestock deaths, the loss of 8,840 hectares of cropland and the damage of 79 water pumps, and destruction of road infrastructure were reported in Dollo Ado and Bokolmanyo woredas. Similar losses of livelihood and infrastructure are also reported in Moyale and Kadaduma woredas. An increase in food commodity prices has already been reported due to poor terms of trade in the flood-affected woredas, further exacerbating the already soaring market prices resulting from COVID-19 restrictions.

In Oromia, floods displaced more than 63,000 people, and damaged houses as well as public infrastructure such as schools and health facilities across 17 kebeles in Gelana woreda. Similarly, 57 houses were damaged, 151 hectares of cropland destroyed, and 21 goats killed in Liben woreda, Guji zone. Communities in Bale and Borena zones also suffered flood damages and livelihood loss.

The Government of Ethiopia, humanitarian partners and communities are currently providing live-saving assistance to the flood-affected and displaced people in most of these areas, albeit with limitations. Additional resource is urgently required to address unmet food and non-food needs, including emergency shelter and non-food items (ES/NFI), health and WaSH services as well as early recovery support. Sector requirements and gaps are listed in the National Flood Response Plan.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.